Sandy Hook School Project Moves Forward

There was not a single nay vote on Wednesday night at the Newtown Municipal Center as residents approved taking $750,000 from the state to rebuild Sandy Hook Elementary. 

Students were moved to the Chalk Hill School in Monroe after the shooting. Earlier this month, a panel determining the fate of the school voted to build a new school at the site of the former Sandy Hook Elementary.

"It was swift. I've never seen a room that had more people that were in unison with a goal," said Skeff Bisset, whose two daughters attend Sandy Hook Elementary.

He was one of nearly 200 Newtown parents and residents to approve $750,000 from the state to allow the Sandy Hook school project to go forward.

Newtown's First Selectwoman, Pat Llodra, said this $750,000 will go to projects including design, site preparation and removal of an oil tanker from the property.

Llodra said this gives Newtown the resources it needs to continue to plan.

"[This] is evidence of the level of support we have in the community for rebuilding the school, recreating our Sandy Hook school, bringing those kids back into our community and our school," Llodra said.

Bisset said her daughters want to go back, but having this go forward helps the community heal.

The hope for Bisset's daughters and others in Newtown is to get students back to Sandy Hook by 2016.

In May, Newtown officials voted to tear the original school down and build a new one in the same spot.

Llodra said the town couldn't have done things like design without this $750,000 grant. That money is part of a $50 million state funding package for the Sandy Hook building project. 

"I'm very excited it's unanimous," Llodra said.

However, some parents couldn't get into the room because it was so full. 

"There are people still lined up outside the door who can't come in to voice their opinion," Kevin Fitzgerald, of Newtown, said, noting that he's satisfied with the decision but, "it makes a lot of people say, 'Wait a second. Is this how we should plan on spending $50 million of Connecticut taxpayers money?"

Others we spoke to said this is the room where all the meetings are held. 

"And if it's important, you get there and be there," George Ferguson, of Newtown, said.

Next up for the Sandy Hook Project is a referendum on the total amount, $50 million, that is expected to cover the total cost of the project.

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